The Ultimate Guide to Sun Tunnels (Calgary Edition)

The Ultimate Guide to Sun Tunnels (Calgary Edition)

Roofs and roofing, Tips & Useful Info

Natural light is good for your mood, and it also makes your rooms and hallways look flattering and inviting. Sun tunnels are growing in popularity wi...

Posted by Tricia | May 1, 2023

Natural light is good for your mood, and it also makes your rooms and hallways look flattering and inviting. Sun tunnels are growing in popularity with Calgary residents because they make it possible to enjoy cost-effective natural lighting indoors.

But how do sun tunnels work, how much do they cost, and how much maintenance do they need? Don’t worry; the Guns N Hoses team is here to answer your questions. Read through our ultimate guide to sun tunnels for Calgary homeowners below so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to add one to your home.

What Is a Sun Tunnel?

Sun tunnels, also known as solar tubes or tubular skylights, are natural lighting solutions that capture sunlight and direct it into your home through a reflective tube. They are designed to provide a convenient and energy-efficient way of brightening up dark spaces in your home with natural light.

Sunlite light tube system for transporting natural daylight from roof into room. 3D rendered illustration.

How Sun Tunnels Work

Sun tunnels consist of a dome-shaped, weather-resistant capture device mounted on the roof, which collects sunlight. The sunlight is then reflected down a highly reflective tube that runs through the attic or other spaces and finally diffuses the light into your home through a diffuser or lens. This process helps to evenly distribute the light and minimize heat gain or loss.

The Benefits of Sun Tunnels for Calgary Homeowners

Calgary has the highest number of sunny days per year out of any city in Canada—so sun tunnels can be a cost-effective way to illuminate the inside of your home on a consistent basis. They also provide several other advantages, including:

  • Quick and easy installation: Sun tunnels have a simple design with few components, making them quicker to install than traditional skylights. They do not typically require major structural modifications, and their flexible, reflective tubes can be easily navigated through tight spaces in the attic.
  • No heat loss: Sun tunnels have insulated, double or triple-glazed diffusers, which minimize heat transfer. This design feature helps to maintain the home’s interior temperature and prevents heat loss or overheating.
  • Low maintenance: Sun tunnels require little to no maintenance due to their durable, weather-resistant materials and self-cleaning dome design. Occasional inspection and cleaning of the exterior dome and interior diffuser are typically all that’s needed.
  • Design options: Sun tunnels offer various design options, such as different sizes, tube lengths, and diffuser styles. Customization features, like dimmers or decorative fixtures, can also be added to match the homeowner’s preferences and interior decor.

The Costs of Sun Tunnels in Calgary

Installation Costs

The cost of a sun tunnel can range from several hundred dollars to over a thousand, depending on several factors. These include:

  • Sun tunnel size and type: Different sun tunnel sizes and types have varying costs. Smaller, more basic sun tunnels tend to be more affordable, while larger, more advanced models can be more expensive.
  • Roof type and slope: The type of roof and its slope can affect the installation complexity, and therefore, the cost. Steeper or more complex roofs may require additional labor or specialized equipment, increasing the overall cost.
  • Installation complexity: Some installations may require modifications to your home’s structure, such as framing, drywall work, or electrical work. These additional services can increase the overall cost of the project.
  • Additional features: Customization options, such as adding a dimmer, ventilation fan, or decorative fixtures, can also impact the final price.
  • Labor and materials: The cost of labor and materials in your area can also influence the total cost of the project.

To get an accurate estimate for installing a sun tunnel in your Calgary home, we recommend contacting Guns N Hoses for a consultation. Our team members will be able to assess your specific needs and provide you with a detailed quote tailored to your home and preferences.

Maintenance Costs

While sun tunnels are known for being low maintenance, you may occasionally need to spend a small amount of money (and time) to keep them in shape over the course of their lifetime. Factors contributing to sun tunnel maintenance costs in Calgary can include:

  • Periodically cleaning the exterior dome and interior diffuser
  • Potential repairs after weather-related damage
  • Replacing worn or damaged components over time

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance. This will keep your sun tunnel working efficiently and providing reliable natural light for years.

Skylight on red ceramic tiles house roof with rain gutter. Skylights, Roof Windows and Sun Tunnels.  Attic skylight solution outdoor.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sun Tunnels in Calgary

Can sun tunnels be installed on any type of roof?

Sun tunnels can be installed on most roof types, including shingle, metal, and tile roofs. However, the installation process may vary depending on the roof material and slope.

Do sun tunnels work on cloudy days or during the winter months?

Yes! Sun tunnels can still provide a significant amount of natural light during cloudy days and winter months, though the light intensity may be lower compared to sunny days.

Can a sun tunnel be installed in a multi-story building?

While it’s possible to install sun tunnels in multi-story buildings, the efficiency and light transmission may decrease as the length of the reflective tube increases. If you want to add a sun tunnel leading from your roof to a lower story, consult us to find out how feasible the project is and what will be involved.

How much money can a sun tunnel save me on lighting costs?

Sun tunnels can significantly reduce your reliance on artificial lighting during daytime hours, which leads to energy savings. Most homeowners can expect to save anywhere from 10% to 30% on electricity for lighting by using natural light from sun tunnels—but actual savings will vary based on your specific conditions and usage patterns.

Can sun tunnels withstand Calgary’s harsh weather?

Yes—our high-quality sun tunnels are designed with durable, weather-resistant materials to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy snowfall and hailstorms. Working with us to put a sun tunnel in your home ensures that you receive a quality product and that it gets installed correctly, reducing the likelihood that it will be damaged by inclement weather.

Do sun tunnels increase the risk of ice dams or leaks in Calgary’s cold climate?

When installed correctly by our professionals, sun tunnels should not increase the risk of ice dams or leaks. Our sun tunnels are designed with proper insulation and flashing to prevent condensation, heat loss, and potential leaks.

How to Install a Sun Tunnel that Brightens Up Your Home

Now that you know how sun tunnels work and what you can expect when installing or maintaining one, you’ll be able to seriously consider them as a way to enjoy beautiful natural light indoors. The next step is to make sure your sun tunnel project is carried out by experts—so that it can light your home effectively and you can count on it for years to come.

Contact Guns N Hoses to learn more about how we install sun tunnels for Calgary residents. We’ll provide you with recommendations based on your needs and accurate quotes for our work.

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Written by Tricia Arsenault

Tricia’s first experience roofing was when she was a teenager, roofing with her dad in small-town Manitoba. Her dad was a farmer but they did construction in their spare time, and she was his right-hand woman. After highschool, Tricia graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and International business. She has worked in the travel and finance industry and then returned full circle to the construction industry when she started Guns N Hoses with Keith over 14 years ago. Fun fact: Tricia has traveled all over the world, lived in three different continents and traveled to fifteen different countries.

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